The Wilpons and Saul Katz have some familiar company in this Madoff mess.
According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, former Mets second baseman and current Triple-A Buffalo manager Tim Teufel is being sued for approximately $1.23 million in a clawback lawsuit filed by Madoff trustee Irving Picard.
According to the Daily News, the lawsuit alleges that Teufel reaped $1,219,463 in “fictitious profits” and made $13,000 from a different Madoff account.
Teufel, who is currently in spring training with the Mets as an instructor, had some brief comments on the matter for Adam Rubin of ESPN New York this morning:
“The whole thing here for me at this point is kind of in a place where people are taking care of this and I really can’t comment in a big way on anything [with] my involvement with the Madoff scandal at this point,” Teufel said. “But what I try to do professionally is not bring my personal life into the clubhouse. So I hope you guys can respect that part. I’m here to develop players, help them get to the big leagues. Being able to do the [Triple-A] Buffalo team this year, I’m excited about that, and am thrilled to be a part of something real big here. So I enjoy my job, and my time here with the Mets has been great. I feel for the Wilpon family with what they have to go through. I can certainly relate to their pain and anguish. So I’m here to leave my personal attitude and effects of what has happened in my family’s life out of the clubhouse and help develop players.”
As opposed to the lawsuit against the Wilpons and Katz, Picard is not alleging that Teufel knew or should have known about any illegal activity.
The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.
Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).
A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.
The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.